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Keeping the rail network safe

After almost 30 years of working with the rail industry to strengthen safeguarding on rail, Railway Children is as committed as ever to ensuring that railway stations are a safe space for vulnerable children and young people.

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Our work with the rail industry

As we work to ensure children and young people are protected across transport networks in the UK, India and Tanzania, one of our key partnerships has always been with the rail industry.

Together with rail companies, British Transport Police (BTP) and the public, we’re continuing to build safeguarding solutions to make sure young people at risk are seen and supported across the rail network.


The Safeguarding on Rail scheme, a joint initiative launched between the Department for Transport and British Transport Police in 2019, sets out standards for ensuring everyone’s safety on the rail network.

For the last few years, we’ve worked with rail companies to meet and exceed requirements for this accreditation through supporting Safeguarding Action Groups and Safeguarding Champions at stations across the UK, alongside running specialist safeguarding training for frontline rail staff.


Our Safeguarding Action Groups, or SAGs, are made up of people who work in and around rail stations including BTP, rail staff, station retailers and vendors and representatives from other local organisations. These groups meet regularly to ensure safeguarding is a priority at stations and to build awareness of vulnerability among staff and the public.

Joe Clay, Programme Manager and Safeguarding Partnerships, said: “Our Safeguarding Action Groups bring together people and organisations from across station communities with the aim of creating a stronger safety net for children and young people at risk.

"It’s not just about going to a meeting – it’s about finding out more about the issues affecting communities to deliver local solutions, raising awareness of how to spot someone at risk and making sure that everyone plays their part in keeping children safe on the network.”

Safeguarding training

Alongside awareness-raising events, we also regularly run training sessions, both in-person and as e-learning courses, for rail staff covering topics such as spotting vulnerability, identifying possible county lines activity and assessing the most appropriate responses to risks.

Participants who complete our in-person training become Safeguarding Champions, who are committed to safeguarding vulnerable children and young people on the railways.

Dave Bentley, Learning, Development and Participation Manager, said: “We work closely with rail professionals and BTP by providing training, advocacy and support to improve safeguarding on the rail network and apply modern approaches from within the industry.

"Sessions include understanding roles and responsibilities around safeguarding on rail, how to spot vulnerability and make referrals, contextual safeguarding and best practice as a Champion.”

We also offer Mental Health First Aid training to rail professionals who have an active interest in improving mental health in the workplace and wider industry.

To date, over 400 staff across 18 train companies, local authorities and rail industry organisations have taken part in our training, with many more sessions booked in.

Working together across the railway family – with railway staff, BTP and members of the public – we remain committed to ensuring the railway becomes a safer space for vulnerable young people.